Chicons au gratin

Chicons au gratin

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What are chicons au gratin?
Chicons au gratin is a Belgian national dish consisting of braised Belgian endives  (aka chicons) wrapped in slices of baked ham and covered with a Mornay sauce and some grated cheese.  Steaming hot with a creamy cheesy sauce, chicons au gratin is comfort food par excellence.  The bitter Belgian endives mixed with the sweet baked ham also make a winning combination.  Chicons au gratin is probably my daughter’s all-time favorite dish.

 
How much time does it take to make chicons au gratin?
Chicons au gratin is wonderful for a friendly fam…

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Belgian Foodie® Winter Salad

Belgian Foodie® Winter Salad

What are Winter Salads?
Winter salads bring color, vitamins and fresh tastes to brighten up your plate and keep your palate alive.  In many ways I prefer winter salads to salads at other times of the year because the ingredients are often more crispy and full of flavor.

 
How can you create a Winter Salad?
Blend colors and tastes
The key to making an exceptional winter salad is to blend colors and tastes.  Don’t be afraid to use bitter vegetables, such as Belgian endives, radicchio and escarole, all from the chicory family. You may offset the bitter tastes by adding sweet ingredien…

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Braised Belgian Endives

Braised Belgian Endives

Why learning how to braise Belgian Endives is so important?
Everyone in Belgium needs to learn how to braise Belgian endives, commonly known as chicons or witlof in Belgium, at some point in their life.  It should almost be a requirement for citizenship. Many people are a bit intimidated by Belgian endives because they are easy to overcook or often fall apart while cooking.  Yet, braising Belgian endives is actually fairly simple.

 
How to braise Belgian endives
All it takes to braise Belgian endives is a pan, some olive oil or butter, garlic, a touch of nutmeg, a sprinkle of sugar …

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Belgian Endive Pie

Belgian Endive Pie

How can I use Belgian endive in a new way?
Belgian endive, known as chicory in the United Kingdom, chicons in the French-speaking part of Belgium and witlof  in the Dutch-speaking part of Beligum, is generally prepared only a couple different ways.  OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.

The most common ways Belgian endives are prepared are raw mixed in a salad, braised in olive oil with a little garlic as a side dish, or chicons gratin  (braised Belgian endives wrapped in ham and covered with a Mornay sauce).  Belgian endives mix great with pork (any kind of bacon or ham), Ro…

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